Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 near Detroit, Michigan. At the time, the company had 12 investors and 1,000 shares, and that same year, they sold their first vehicle: a Ford Model A. This in turn made the company profitable. Five years later in 1908, Ford's Model T was released, and the company sold 15 million of them until Ford ended production of it in 1927. It is still one of the best-selling vehicles ever built.
A truly forward-thinking and innovative entrepreneur, Henry Ford introduced a moving assembly line while producing Ford vehicles in 1913. This reduced production time significantly and catalyzed a new movement in manufacturing. The following year, Ford introduced a $5 per day pay rate, which was double the standard pay rate of factory workers, and cut work hours to 8 per day. Not only was Ford innovating the workplace, but he was helping form the American middle class.
Throughout the 20th century, Ford Motor Company released one innovative model after another. In 1917, Ford produced its first truck: the Ford Model TT, and later kicked off its F-series trucks in 1948; the Ford F-series truck is one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. today. To aid in the war efforts, Ford began producing Jeeps in 1941 and actually stopped selling vehicles to U.S. civilians to instead focus Ford's resources on the production of military equipment.
Ford was also no stranger to affordable luxury vehicles, as it released its Mercury brand with the sleek Mercury 8 in 1938, and the Mustang later in 1964. In the decades following the 1970s, Ford released numerous recognizable models: the Fiesta, Taurus, Explorer, Lincoln Navigator, and all the way up to the models we know and love today, such as the Ford Focus and F-150.
The coal shed on Bagley Street, Detroit where Henry Ford built his first car in 1896.
Ford assembly line (1913).